Features Opinion PS3

Folklore: A Retrospective Review of a Forgotten Classic

The term ‘hidden gem’ gets thrown about a lot in the retro gaming world. Very often, the best games are not hidden at all. Folklore could be described as one of these authentic, overlooked titles. It remains hidden, and the reason for that is because it has always been a divisive game, loved or hated in equal measures. Below, we discuss why you should try Folklore.

The Background to Folklore

Folklore was first released in 2007 on the PlayStation 3. It was developed by Game Republic under Yoshiki Okamoto. This veteran developer had previously been responsible for working on classic games like Resident Evil.

The concept of the game was to unravel a mystery set in the real-life village of Doolin, Ireland. The main characters are a journalist named Keats and a young woman named Ellen, who do this by going into the netherworld and getting the memories of the dead. It tapped into the rich vein of Celtic mythology, which had just enjoyed a resurgence in popularity at the time. European mythology had been mined a lot, but the fairytale mythology of Ireland was a fresh take. It had only really been used in the iGaming sector, in games such as Rainbow Riches. These were slot titles where people could win cash prizes by playing games. However, in console games, it was quite a novel idea.

Demos were released on the Japanese PlayStation Network, then later on the European version. The reviews were quite positive, but the reception it would get should have been spotted earlier. The game was originally planned to be a companion game to Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner. However, when sales of this were disappointing, it was rebranded.

The Unique Gameplay

Source: Unsplash

The game is played from a third-person perspective, and you can choose to be Ellen or Keats. Each of these people has their own storyline, but both weave in and out of each other’s narrative as the game unfolds. It also has two locations. Doolin is where the characters have to solve puzzles and quests while interacting with the people of the village.

In the second location, the netherworld, the game becomes an action title where the gameplay opens up. The combat is unique, as you can absorb the creatures that attack you. As they are almost beaten, you can absorb their spirit. This gives you the option to assign their unique skills to your weapons system, allowing a high level of customisation. Both characters also have differing skill sets, with Ellen being defensive and Keats being offensive.

Why Play Folklore?

For fans of Irish mythology, Folklore is a must. It is well-researched and taps into the vein of Irish mythology in a dark, twisted way. The juxtaposition between the real world and the netherworld is also a great mechanic, essentially melding two game genres into one. Even for a game released on PS3, its graphical quality still stands up and renders some beautiful scenes of fantasy.

While its mechanics were unique at the time, it can feel dated with today’s advanced combat systems. Yet, if you want a unique experience that delves into a unique history, you can’t go far wrong with Folklore.

You Might Also Like